Ocean Outdoor marches on with European DOOH grab as it acquires Visual Art Media

Ocean Outdoor acquires Visual Art Media as it expands European digital platform

Ocean Outdoor has acquired digital out-of-home (DOOH) company Visual Art Media for €63m (£56m) as the company continues its European takeover.

With Visual Art Media operating out of Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Germany, Ocean Outdoor is looking to strengthen its hold on Europe.

Visual Art Media has more than 260 locations in Sweden, across a mix of retail, rail and airport and leisure destinations across key cities including Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö.

It also operates in Denmark and Finland and is a partner of Unibail-Radamco-Westfield in Germany. Visual Art Media has the exclusive contract for 15 shopping malls in key cities including Berlin and Munich.

Visual Art Media's current 140 employees will continue to operate under its management team led by chief exec Andreas Lind, who will be supported by Ocean Outdoor.

The acquisition follows the news that UK-based Ocean Outdoor experienced a 16% boost in revenues to £41.9m in the first half of 2019. Its acquisition spree has been credited for this lift.

In March news broke that it has acquired Ngage Media and Interbest, two companies based in the Netherlands for £45m. This move added 163 screens to its portfolio.

Prior to that, Ocean Outdoor acquired Forest Media in Scotland for £32m and of SCP Acquisition Topco Limited for approximately £200m.

In 2018, Ocean Outdoor was acquired by Ocelot Partners as a springboard for planned consolidation of the sector. Aiming to unify the fragmented landscape of the sector at present, Ocelot rebranded as Ocean Outdoor. At the time of acquisition, Ocelot said it would target further acquisitions in order to scale Ocean’s existing operations.

Commenting on the deal, Ocean chief exec Tim Bleakley said: “Visual Art Media is an attractive business that we have long admired. The company combines great people with great assets in growing DOOH markets, offering impressive opportunities across a number of different business areas and multiple countries.

“We have a strong connection with Sweden and Visual Art Media through our board member, Martin HP Söderström. With his network of Scandinavian real estate firms we see good synergies and possibilities to grow Visual Art Media in the Scandinavian market further.

Adding to this, Visual Art Media's chief exec Andreas Lind and Hoss Khosravi, chief revenue officer, said: “Becoming part of Ocean allows us to enhance our objective to enlarge our digital footprint in domestic markets as well as our international ambitions to develop the digital out-of-home medium. Achieving this under the premium Ocean brand proposition marks an exciting new era for digital OOH advertising in the Nordics and Germany.”

Join us, it's free.

Become a member to get access to:

  • Exclusive Content
  • Daily and specialised newsletters
  • Research and analysis

Join us, it’s free.

Want to read this article and others just like it? All you need to do is become a member of The Drum. Basic membership is quick, free and you will be able to receive daily news updates.